On June 23, Nikki Haley became the first Indian American woman ever to become a candidate for governor. She is riding a wave of Indian American politicians who have emerged into the limelight as contenders for a variety of positions. According to the Associated Press, at least â€œeight children of Indian immigrants are running for Congress or statewide office, the most ever.â€
Haleyâ€™s case is unique. Many in particular accuse her of foregoing her cultural identity in order to make inroads into the political arena, especially within South Carolina, a state with noted conservative roots. Her name change, her appearance and in particular her conversion to Christianity from Sikhism has made a target to political observers, who question the genuineness of her choices. Did Haley make the choices that she did to cater to the personal preferences of Republican voters? Or was Haley herself trying to escape her own heritage?
Regardless, the door to her personal history has now been thrown open. What remains to be seen is if she can win the office, based on what she has crafted herself upon.
What do you think? Did Haley need to change in order to make herself more â€œmarketableâ€? What about candidates that have successfully â€” SHARMEEN NOOR